Cover art below!
Chaos…absolute chaos is what starts just about every morning at the Jeffcock Foster Home, also known as the only foster home to house muggle children and wizard children in the same house. How has the wizarding world not been exposed? Well, the father who owns the house has taken several precautions to make sure that doesn’t happen…he locked up all of Keith’s magical items (spellbooks, broomstick, wand, cauldron) in a closet. He doesn’t trust Keith because of his past.
Keith doesn’t understand that because the father’s kid, Caleb Jeffcock, is way worse than Keith when it comes to dealing with magic! Caleb’s marks at the end of his year at Durmstrang Institute were the worst Keith’s ever seen! Not to mention his behavior comments…he started several fights. The only detention Keith ever got was from helping someone else!
Durmstrang Institute is the Scandinavian wizarding school, located in the northernmost regions between Norway and Sweden. The school is willing to accept international students as far as Bulgaria. Durmstrang has existed since at least 1294, and is well-known for featuring the Dark Arts in its curriculum. Durmstrang does not admit Muggleborns…which Keith thinks is stupid. He knows several Muggleborns who are better wizards than he is.
Anyway, Jonathan Jeffcock, the foster father, is, what wizards would, a Squib. This term is associated with people who have at least one wizard parent. In a way, they are wizard-born muggles and are looked upon with disdain by some in the wizarding community, primarily purebloods.
Keith stays at this foster home during the summer after his first term at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry because Takashi Shirogane, Hogwarts’s current headmaster, is unable to adopt him until the mystery of Keith’s parents’ missing bodies is solved. Shiro sent Keith to this foster home because this is the only one in the area near where Shiro lives who knows about the Wizarding World.
Keith ducks as a fork goes flying over his head. He turns back to see two of the muggle foster kids fighting over the last waffle. Another one starts crying, demanding more sausage. Keith winces as he hears his cat, Red, meow loudly from where she was napping on the windowsill.
Now Keith’s gonna have to deal with her being in a sour mood.
Jonathan slams his fork down on the table and glares daggers at Keith. “Will you shut your cat up?! I can’t stand when that stupid thing meows at night!”
“Sir, she doesn’t-” Keith starts.
“Did I ask you to talk back? No, I did not. Hurry up and finish your breakfast, you’re on weed duty outside,” Jonathan interrupts rudely.
Keith lowers his head sheepishly. “Yes sir.”
“Okay everyone! I have an announcement to make!” Jonathan exclaims, standing up. “I have a big meeting with a contractor to build a bigger house for all of you foster kids to stay in and so I can take in more kids!”
The muggle kids murmur with excitement and exchange happy expressions.
“I need everyone to be on their best behavior when they come,” Jonathan continues. “You kids make sure you behave yourselves during dinner. I need them to think you all are well-behaved children so they’ll allow me to take in more kids. Caleb, you just keep acting like your angel self.”
Caleb smirks at Keith and sticks his tongue out.
“Keith, you stay in your room and don’t make a sound. You’re the one I’m most concerned about,” Jonathan says, glaring at Keith.
“I’ll just be up there pretending I don’t exist,” Keith replies with a monotone voice.
Jonathan smiles. “Good! That’s exactly what I need from you! Now hurry up and finish…you’re also on dish duty.”
Keith bites back a remark in fear of being punished further. He doesn’t want to be stuck with cleaning the bathrooms!
“Keith, go get me some more bacon from the pan,” Caleb orders as Keith finishes his last bite of pancakes. “I’m hungry for more and I don’t want you getting any of it.”
Keith lifts his head to snark back, but one glare from Jonathan snuffs out anything Keith had in mind. He stands up and makes his way towards the kitchen, muttering, “You forgot the magic word.”
Caleb’s eyes widen and he turns to Jonathan. “KEITH SAID THE WORD!”
The entire house goes silent for a few seconds. The muggle kids look between Jonathan and Keith in suspense. They’re probably hoping Keith gets a spanking or something. Jonathan opens his mouth to speak, but a loud crash from the living room interrupts them. Keith, Jonathan, and the other kids turn and see Red licking her paw next to a broken toy.
One of the muggle kids burst into tears and yells about his broken car. Two other kids start crying when he does, claiming they didn’t get enough to eat.
Everything goes downhill from there and everyone explodes into absolute chaos once again. Food goes flying, plates break on the floor, and juice spills all over the table.
What a way to start a 12 th birthday , Keith thinks bitterly to himself.
Today on July 26, Keith turns the strapping age of 12 and is ready to move onto his second year at Hogwarts. No one in his foster home remembered his birthday, but Keith didn’t think they cared enough. Keith isn’t a favorite and there are too many kids to keep track of in general.
After Keith finishes cleaning up the table from breakfast, he heads outside to begin pulling weeds. He looks up towards the sky, hoping to see an owl flying towards his house. Keith sighs and kicks a rock across the yard when no owl comes.
Keith was sure he’d get something from his friends on his birthday, but he hasn’t heard a word from them all summer! His best friends from Hogwarts, Lance McClain, Hunk Garett, and Pidge Holt, promised they’d send him letters!
Did they lie to him?
No, that’s impossible! They wouldn’t just ditch Keith…not after everything they’ve been through together. Not after-
A rustling in the bushes interrupts Keith’s train of thought. He looks over at the hedges and sees a pair of wide, blue eyes staring back at him. Keith takes a step to investigate, but stops when he hears Caleb’s voice.
“Aww, no friends to write to you on your birthday?” He cackles. “How pathetic! Why would anyone ever want to be your friend!?”
Keith continues to stare at the hedge, completely ignoring Caleb. He’s dealt with Bethany and Damien long enough to know Caleb isn’t worth his time.
“What are you doing? What are you looking at?!” Caleb demands.
Keith’s nostrils flare in frustration and he turns to glare at Caleb. “Do you ever shut up? I’m trying to decide how I’m gonna set the bush on fire!”
Caleb yelps and jumps back from Keith. He runs into the house, yelling about Keith being a psycho. Jonathan yells for Keith to come inside and punishes him by making him clean the whole house, pick weeds, and mow the lawn.
Great…just great , Keith thinks bitterly to himself as he is handed a mop and a broom.
He spends the rest of the day mopping, dusting, and washing just about everything in sight. The worst part were the bathrooms…who knew kids could be so disgusting? Good thing he didn’t use the same bathroom as these muggle kids because…yuck. Mold and mildew had begun to grow along the edges of the shower. The toilet smelled awful and had been clogged with something Keith didn’t know a person could produce. Hair was lodged in the drain of the shower.
By the time he finished, it was dinner time. Jonathan gives Keith a sandwich and a glass of water then sends him up to his room, warning him not to make a sound.
Keith sulks as he goes up the stairs to his room. He sets his plate and glass on his dresser and makes his way over to his bed to lie down, but he finds someone else already sitting on it.